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Updated October 17, 2017

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture

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Which travel credit card is better for you? Read this in-depth comparison of Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture, two popular travel rewards cards.

These are the two major heavy-hitters in the current travel reward card world. Which one belongs in your wallet in 2018?

Both cards give you points for purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 2x points on travel and dining; the Capital One Venture gives you 2x miles on everything. Both will serve well as your everyday card, allowing you to quickly rack up rewards to score a hotel stay or flight ticket.

And with either card, you have the opportunity to earn a generous sign-up up bonus.

But peel back the layers, as we will below, and you may agree with us that the Chase Sapphire Preferred has the edge.

Overview: Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Capital One Venture

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® - Learn more

Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening (worth $500 in travel).

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR17.74% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.74% to 24.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR17.74% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.74% to 24.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfer FeeEither $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. No balance transfer fee
Annual Fee$0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, then $95$0 intro annual fee for first year; $95 after that
 

Benefits and Features

TravelTravel Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Travel Rewards: Earn 2x miles per dollar on all purchases. Redeem your miles for travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or car rental.
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus. 
 Apply NowLearn More

Capital One Venture: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on June 28, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Before we get into the meat of the comparisons, let's do a quick rundown of how the cards work:

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you earn 2x points on travel and dining and 1x on all other purchases. The points can be redeemed to book travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a 20% discount, or be transferred 1:1 to Chase Sapphire Preferred transfer partners such as United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, and more.

  • The Capital One Venture lets you earn 2x miles on every purchase. The redemption is a bit more straightforward. Simply apply your miles to travel-related purchases within the past 90 days and you'll get the reward back as a statement credit, at the rate of 1 point = 1 cent (1,000 points = $10).

And here's how they compare at a glance:

  • Best bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred wins in this category. Their 50,000 bonus points is worth $625 in travel when you book through Ultimate Rewards, whereas Capital One Venture's 50,000 bonus miles is worth $500 in travel.

    But you only need to spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months to score the bonus points with Capital One Venture. In comparison, you'll need to spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months to earn the bonus points with Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  • Best points system: This depends on what you value. If you value getting the most out of your rewards possible, Chase Sapphire Preferred has transferrable points which has the potential for huge savings. However, if you value flexibility and ease, Capital One Venture's fixed point system is a no-brainer to use.

  • Best benefits: Both cards come with handy travel benefits such as trip cancellation, travel accident, and baggage loss/delay insurance. However, Chase Sapphire Preferred also offers primary car rental collision damage waiver, so it has the edge when it comes to benefits.

Now that you understand a bit about how the two cards work, let's take a more in-depth look at the similarities, differences, and why you may like one over the other.

Why Either Card Is a Good Choice

Both cards are specifically designed to earn travel rewards that will ultimately save you money, making either one a great choice as a primary card.

With either Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture, you get:

    Chase Sapphire Preferred
    Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • A handsome sign-up bonus: With Chase Sapphire Preferred, you get 50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. That converts into $625 worth of travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® online portal.

    With Capital One Venture, you'll have to spend only $3,000 in the first three months to get the bonus, but you'll earn less. You get 50,000 bonus miles, which equals $500 in travel.

    Tip: You need excellent credit to be approved for either card. Another item to note is that Chase has a 5/24 rule: if you've opened 5 credit card accounts within the past 24 months, your Chase credit card application will have a hard time going through.

  • No foreign transaction fees: No one likes to pay for those pesky foreign transaction fees (usually 3% of the cost of each purchase). Luckily, you won't have to worry about that with either of these cards, as each boasts $0 foreign transaction fees.

  • Unlimited rewards points with no expiration: Spend plenty of dollars, earn plenty of points is the mantra of both cards. The sky's the limit - as there's no cap to points you can earn. And your points never expire as long as your account is active and in good standing.

Why Chase Sapphire Preferred Is Superior

Both cards give you rewards for traveling, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred card does one big thing that makes it more valuable. And that is being able to transfer your rewards point-for-point to travel-loyalty partners such as United Airlines and Hyatt.

Tip: If you also hold a Chase Freedom card (which has 5% bonus categories), any points you earn with it can be pooled with your Chase Sapphire Preferred points, and then all those points can be used for travel rewards.

We'll go over it in more detail below, as well as more reasons you may prefer Chase Sapphire Preferred:

  • 20% discount when booking travel with points using Chase's travel portal: You get a 20% discount when you book using points through the Ultimate Rewards® portal, making each point worth 1.25 cents. For example, redeeming 50,000 points for travel on Chase Ultimate Rewards nets you $625 in value. With Capital One Venture, 50,000 points will only net you $500, as you will always get only 1 cent per mile.

    Tip: At first glance, Chase Sapphire Preferred seems like the way better deal in terms of what the points are worth. But keep in mind that you can earn points faster with Capital One Venture, as you get 2x on everything. We explain it more later with examples.

  • Access to multiple travel partners: This is by far Chase Sapphire Preferred's most valuable feature. You can transfer your points 1:1 to an airline or hotel loyalty partner program, including:

    • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
    • United MileagePlus®
    • JetBlue TrueBlue
    • British Airways Executive Club
    • Flying Blue Air France KLM
    • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
    • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
    • Marriott Rewards®
    • Hyatt Gold Passport®
    • IHG® Rewards Club
    • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®

    If transferred smartly, this can give you insane value out of every point. For example, those 50,000 bonus points can either be worth $625, or they can be transferred to British Airways for 2 round-trip award flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Hawaii. This is amazing value as one round-trip fare alone could be $700.

    Read: Do's and Don'ts of Chase Sapphire Transfer Partners - we do a rundown of each transfer partner and how best (or not!) to use your points.

Why You May Prefer Capital One Venture

The big reason you might opt for the Capital One Venture Card over Chase's is that every dollar you spend gives you 2x points. If you use this card a lot, your travel rewards points will add up faster than they would with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Here are other reasons you may prefer Capital One Venture to Chase Sapphire Preferred:

  • Easy redemption: Redemption is super easy with the Capital One Venture. Just use the "Purchase Eraser" to receive a statement credit for your travel-related purchase (within 90 days from date of purchase). This means you can book travel on any site you want without having to worry about black-out dates. This is better for those who value more flexibility.

    Another advantage is that you can redeem your rewards for train travel, car rentals, etc., so you're not limited to only air and hotel travel. So even if you're more of a backyard traveler, you can still find ways to use your miles.

    Did You Know: You can also use your miles to book travel on Capital One's Reward Center. The rate is the same at 1 mile = 1 cent ($200 worth of travel will cost you 20,000 miles).

  • Potentially lower APR: If you're not the type to pay your balance off each month and have excellent credit, the Capital One Venture's APR range of 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) is potentially lower than the Chase Sapphire Preferred's 17.74% - 24.74% Variable. Of course, your interest rate is dependent on your creditworthiness.

    But if you pay off your balance in full each month, then you're better off focusing on the rewards than the interest rate.

Comparing the Rewards Structure

If you're still not sure, there's one last really important thing to look at: your spending habits.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 2x points on only travel and dining (and 1x on everything else), while Capital One Venture gives you 2x on all purchases. So which is better?

Let's look at a couple of sample spending scenarios:

Let's say you spend $1,000 a month, with about $400 of it going towards travel and dining.

  • With Chase Sapphire Preferred, you'd earn 1,400 points a month (400 x 2 + 600 x 1), which comes out to be 16,800 points a year. This equals $210 for travel on Chase's travel portal (at 20% discount).

  • With Capital One Venture, you'd earn 2,000 points a month (2x on everything), which equals 24,000 points a year. This equals $240 back in statement credit when applied to travel purchases. Your rewards are higher with Capital One Venture for straight travel rewards.

Now, let's say you spend $1,000 a month, but $600 of it is towards travel and dining.

  • With Chase Sapphire Preferred, you'd earn 1,600 a month. Or 19,200 a year. This equals $240 toward travel on Chase's travel portal.

  • With Capital One Venture, the math doesn't change here. You'd still get $240.

In the 2nd spending scenario, you see that you get the exact same reward with either card. (Technically, you can argue that you get more with Chase Sapphire Preferred because of its ability to transfer points, but we're keeping it simple here.)

So this means that you only get more rewards out of Chase Sapphire Preferred if you spend over 60% on travel and dining. That's quite a high percentage. Take a look at your spending habits over the last several months and see if that applies. There's a reason why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is often thought of as a card for serious travelers.

Did you know: Chase Sapphire Preferred has a wide definition of what counts as travel. Here's a list:

  • airlines
  • hotels and motels
  • timeshares
  • campgrounds
  • car rentals
  • cruise lines
  • travel agencies and discount travel sites
  • trains, buses, limos, and ferries
  • tolls, bridges, and highways
  • parking lots and garages

Both Do Have Downsides

If the benefits of each haven't persuaded you to go with one card over another, then you'll want to focus on the cons of each card.

Both cards have an annual fee. A $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 after that. That $95/year is a serious commitment.

Consider whether any of these downers is a deal breaker for getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred:

  • Most purchases will earn you only 1x points per dollar: If you're making this your go-to card, you'll be missing out on your earnings potential since it provides 2X points only on dining and travel.

  • High APR: You'll need excellent credit to get the card, but you won't get a low interest rate.

With Capital One Venture, these cons may sway you to sign up for the Chase card instead:

  • No airline or hotel partners: Unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Capital One Venture card has no travel partners, so you can't transfer your points to any other rewards program.

  • Less cash rewards: You can only redeem your "miles" at full value for travel. You are able to redeem your miles for cashback (in the form of an account credit), but the redemption value is much lower. You'd only get 0.5 cents per mile (10,000 miles = $50). With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, if you want cashback instead, you'd be able to redeem it at the standard rate of 1 cent per point.

    Tip: If you're not sure how much you'd be traveling and want the option of full cash back, look at other cards instead.

Bottom Line

So, should you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture?

Here's the good news - either card will benefit you if you're a regular traveler. There's value in earning both fixed and transferrable miles.

If you're more of an occasional traveler, the Capital One Venture card is probably better for you. Use it as an everyday card, earning 2x on your purchases, and you'll be saving up for a trip as you spend. You don't have to give it much thought.

If you like to travel and enjoy playing the air miles transfer game, the Chase Sapphire Preferred could live up to its name and be your preferred card. With all the transfer partners that are associated with the card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a traveler's dream.

Still not sure? The true test for which card is right for you could come down to the rewards redemption. Are you willing to do a bit of work to get the most out of your rewards (Chase), or do you want the simplest system possible (Capital One)? The choice is yours.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Capital One Venture

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® - Learn more

Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening (worth $500 in travel).

Annual Fee$0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, then $95$0 intro annual fee for first year; $95 after that
TravelTravel Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Travel Rewards: Earn 2x miles per dollar on all purchases. Redeem your miles for travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or car rental.
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus. 
 Apply NowLearn More

Capital One Venture: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on June 28, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Cynthia Cohen is a retail analyst at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Cynthia Cohen at cynthia@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy decisions. (read more)

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.